The removal of trees and brush from any busy corner in Albany usually signals a new commercial development project or office building will be put there. However, just the opposite is happening!
The extensive tree removal taking place at the corner of New Karner Road and Washington Avenue Extension is actually being done to help the environment and to create a new home for native species, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
photo credit: Karner Blue butterfly encounter via photopin (license)
The work is being done by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission in an effort to rid the rare 2,300-acre Pine Bush of black locust trees – an invasive native species that is a definite threat to the ecosystem there.
The project started last fall but had to be put on hold due to the harsh winter we had, Christopher Hawver, executive director of the commission reported to the Albany Business Review.
Once the commission is finished clearing the brush and invasive trees, they will begin planting wildflowers, native grasses and wild blue lupine. The new pine land will also become home to the endangered Karner blue butterfly, as well as other native plants and animals.
The DEC has reported that the Karner blue butterfly is nearly extinct around many large urban areas, which is why this habitat restoration will play a crucial role in this species’ survival.